Exotic Monsters (single)

by Penfriend

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Pre-order my new album "Exotic Monsters" now! penfriend.rocks/newalbum

Watch the video: penfriend.rocks/monsters

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Sparked by a throwaway phrase from Margaret Atwood's "The Handmaid's Tale", "Exotic Monsters" is a laundry list of asynchronous human needs and desires; a reflection of our increasingly confused, disconnected and polarised lives. A timely reminder of the practice of cultivating gratitude through meditation, the song is an attempt to examine our internalised inconsistencies; the "facts" we pile up on our own backs throughout lives bombarded by airbrushed images and ads for the unattainable baubles we're informed are essential for true happiness.

Shackled to our phones by big tech companies monetising and eroding our attention spans, feeling increasingly as though we live on a different planet to those we disagree with, chasing likes on social media while forgetting to look after our brains and our hearts...where will this all end? Some days it's hard to believe late MP Jo Cox's poignant words, that "we are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us".

Addressing this sense of disconnection and depersonalisation, "Exotic Monsters" evokes the menace of "Enjoy The Silence"-era Depeche Mode with a nod to the 80s-Madonna hero worship of Sky Ferreira's "Everything Is Embarrassing" and the hypnotic synth pop of Sylvan Esso.

To quote Björk, "I'm no fucking Buddhist, but this is enlightenment".

lyrics

I try solipsistic recreation
I crave love without abbreviation
I need time to kiss this cup of coffee
I keep letters from the ones who loved me
I will take all the dreams that Hollywood promised me
I want it now

We’re exotic monsters, dead from the waist down
How can I be clear?
Gratitude’s the first sign of waking
I won’t go back

Keep a kiss for me
Cos we all fall down under an international sky
Fighting to believe it’ll be all right
I’m on an extrasolar high

I seek narcissistic decoration
I crave soil, warmth, ventilation
I’d like to focus on my silent fiction
I need to kick this dopamine addiction
I dream of being someone’s happy memory
I want it all

We’re exotic monsters, dead from the waist down
How can I be clear?
Gratitude’s the first sign of waking
Please don’t keep me here

Keep a kiss for me
Cos we all fall down under an international sky
Fighting to believe it’ll be all right
I’m on an extrasolar high
Keep a kiss for me
Cos we all fall down under an international sky
Fighting to believe it’ll be all right
I’m on an extrasolar high

credits

released January 22, 2021
Written, performed and recorded by Laura Kidd.
Mixed by Dan Austin, mastered by Katie Tavini.
Art by Alex Tillbrook, concept by Laura Kidd.

ESTEC drum samples pk3, pk4, pk6 and pk11 credit: Peter Kirn/CDM/ESA CC BY-SA. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License: creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

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about

Penfriend Bristol, UK

Laura Kidd is a solo artist based in Bristol, UK.

From 2010-2019 she created her own audiovisual world as She Makes War, releasing four albums shemakeswar.bandcamp.com

Since then, she's been making music as Penfriend. Part reinvention, part reckoning with a more confident, wiser self, her new project is a deliberate call for more meaningful connection at a time of cheap dopamine highs.
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